יום ראשון, 12 באפריל 2015

To be like water

 Last week was the holiday of Pesach (passover) here in Israel.
This is the most celebrated holiday in Israel. people clean their houses very thoroughly, take away the bread and prepare to eat Matza all week, and also prepare for the traffic jams on the roads and long lines in the airport as everyone goes on vacation.

For Palestinians it means a closure in the checkpoint, no-one goes out of the wall for work. both because the work is stopped for the holidays, and both for security excuses.

I decided to spend the holiday in my new home -  Eco-ME, which is located on Jericho junction, in area C of the west bank. I thought this is an opportunity for Israeli families to come and visit the place, and for us it is an opportunity to have children in our place:

It is good to cry

and so, I came Sunday morning on the packed buses from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, and then to Eco-ME. As one of the holders of the space I felt both lucky to have the honor to invite and host people, and both frustrated for  not being able to cooperate with the rest of the members of the community to maintain the place in a more balanced way.

I felt like I had all the work on my shoulders. Both taking care of the cooking and cleaning and the rest of the maintenance of the place, and both host the visitors who are coming. I felt that beside my beloved partner Talya, I am not synchronized with the rest of the community members.

I have to explain that Eco-ME center is a very special place, because when you come there in the first time, you can never be sure who is a living member of the place, who is a short term volunteer and who is a guest. This is because this place invites everyone to feel at home and take part in taking care of the place - washing the dishes and even clearing the compost toilets. But this also creates confusion as for the responsibility of each one of us, and might bring disorder and frustration, as it did for me. It was even harder because of the leaving of our beloved friend Aline, who left us to Germany, after half a year of giving herself fully to this project, and was a core part in our community.

I find it very amusing that the last weeks I am more and more acting as the father or the "big brother" telling everyone to clean after themselves. As the youngest child in my family, I used to be very spoiled and messy, and until today I have this image of myself in my head. And here I am, telling all the spoiled brothers in my community to take care of the stuff and help "mom" Talya in cleaning the dishes.... 

At some moments I also broke down. One time it came in a morning talk in which I accused everyone of being lazy and irresponsible, and  then Talya asked me how I feel. Immediately I started to cry.

 The ability and the feeling of security to cry in front of many people is such a great gift. So many times all we need is just to cry for what is difficult or sad for us, and because we are taught not to cry (especially men), we take it out aggressively. 

I feel my tears are my power, the power of water, the power of feeling, the power of life, flowing through me, cleaning my inside, renewing it, like the cleaning of Pesach.


Water for all

This area of the middle east is not rich of fresh water. Many deserts areas require that we use our water wisely and responsibly. But instead of sharing our water with each other and to make the region more green and life supporting, we prevent water from each other.

My  Palestinian friend Ismail told us how in the summer he gets water to his house once in 18 days, and the rest of the time he has to buy water from a water truck coming to his village. He also told us about hoe the IDF destroyed many wells around his village.

For Israelis it is shocking and sometime unbelievable to hear this. So ignored we are from what our military is doing, with our tax money, and our children, that we learned to look away and deny the facts - that we are killing our neighbors. If not physically then mentally and spiritually we are imposing them a life of fear and misery. 

I do not think we are doing it because we are bad. It is a combination of misinformation. and fear to face the naked truth. We can never underestimate the power of looking away.

infographics by michal vexler

Our misuse of water affects not only the Palestinians. Our rivers are all contaminated and not drinkable. People buy today water in plastic bottles. And by this, while we continue to contaminate our world with linear thinking products such as plastic bottles, we also support the conversion of our natural resources into money. We let private people take over water wells and we support it by buying their products. This is so wrong.

The Dead Sea, which I see every morning when I get up, one of the our most special and beautiful natural resource, is rapidly vanishing due to over-consumption. 

Last night I heard the rain falling all night. It is very rare in this time of the year in this area. I thought it is climate change happening while we close our eyes. I felt it is mother earth crying.

This week was amazing and meaningful for me. I met many beautiful people, amazing families. They told me how much they enjoyed the place, and how it gave them new questions to think about.

As for me, I wish to think less, and be more. to act according to my heart's will. to flow through the days, and bring my gifts to everyone and everything around me. To be like water.

If we want ...


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